As the kingdom of Zhou burned to ashes around me on the map, I took a moment to reflect on what had been a bad year. A peasants revolt, a devastating war, cities lost to disease and fire, and an incurable case of bandits. Oriental Empires seems to have everything I want in a game – disaster, bad decisions and angry serfs. So why did I only get as far as the second X in this 4X strategy before I turned away, frustrated and fed up? Perhaps it’s because – as terrible as my year has been – I’ve lived it all before.